spaceshipit: (Default)
The Mod Journal ([personal profile] spaceshipit) wrote2017-02-28 04:44 pm


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Along the path of the fleet are way-stations. These way-stations serve as rest stops for the fleet, and can be found intermittently on their journey (if your ship is flying on autopilot, imagine coming across 1-2 way-stations a day). Anyone is welcome to make posts from any random station --implying that your ship is parked to refuel, you're stopping in via shuttle, etc. Mostly, they serve as a chance for characters to stretch their legs, purchase basic items, and have a neutral meeting ground.

Way-stations may vary across the different systems the fleet encounter. Some may have more to offer, while some may have even less. These differences in the way-stations will be noted in the system plot posts. Otherwise, it can be assumed the local way-stations follow the description in this post.


A sketch of a typical way-station. It's shaped like a large disc, with ship ports around the edges, surrounded by a clear dome. In the center is a crappy park with fake trees.
(Click for a larger image)

The standard way-stations are pretty basic. Shaped like big discs, they have docking ports along the rim for both ships and shuttles. Both sides of the disc are accessible and are gravitized for foot traffic. The center area of both sides of the disk are courtyards encased in an atmospheric force bubble that's invisible from the outside, open to the full view for any passing ships. The ring surrounding the courtyard and connecting to the docking rim is an enclosed building, much like a very vacant mall.

The Courtyard
The courtyard in the center of the way-stations are way too big and most of the time, empty. Standing about the size of a football field (~100m/yds) in diameter, the ground is nothing more than a thin layer of astro-turf with a hard concrete surface underneath. There are a few benches, picnic tables, and plastic trees planted into the cement. It's probably supposed to look like a lovely outdoor park. And it fails badly.

The courtyard is encased with an atmospheric force bubble. Most often, the force-bubble is invisible and allows a full view of the space overhead. However on a few way-stations, there must've been someone determined to make this a lovely park experience, as there has been a holographic projection installed over the force bubble. This hologram projection attempts to mimic a daytime planet sky during daylight hours. Unfortunately, these holograms are prone to glitching and are completely inconsistent. Daylight hours can last anywhere from 5 minutes to several days. There could be 1 holographic sun, or 2 or 5 or 0 - and it could be anyone's guess which directions they rise and set. Even the color of the sky varies wildly. Engineer and Maintenance augments can hack into the holographic projectors as well and add their own projected skies.

Inside the mall ring, there are a variety of things for "recreation" that can be found... though, most stations only have one or two of these things still present and functional, so characters might have to travel around a bit to find something specific they want.

  • Slot machines (very rigged)
  • Simple games that have hologram versions of the parts that would normally get stolen (prone to malfunction): darts, chess, pool, skee-ball, etc.
  • Arcade-style games (free but also prone to malfunction): pinball, shooter games, fighting games, etc.

    Almost all shopping on the way-stations are done through elaborate self-automated vending machines. Each machine dispenses items in two different sizes: one item/enough for one time use OR in bulk size that’s enough to last an average person about one month. These machines only accept chips or credits- local currencies are no good.

    The machines are as followed:

    Snacks & Cold Beverages
  • Off-brand versions of junkfood that'd you'd typically find in vending machine.
  • Popsicles in fruity floot loop flavors.
  • Floot Loop brand dooping dots, in floot loop flavors.
  • Off-brand sodas, coming in a variety of questionable flavors.
  • Low to medium quality energy drinks.
  • Hot Beverages
    Note: Hot beverages cannot be bought in bulk. Hot Beverage machines tend to be out of order on about half of the way-stations.
  • Weak coffee.
  • Weak tea of an unidentified flavor.
  • Hot cocoa made of a protein-based chocolate.

  • Cooking Ingredients/Food
  • Unidentified root vegetables.
  • Dried unidentified meat.
  • Packaged sandwich made from unidentified meat and unidentified vegetables.
  • Small pizza made of proteins topped with unidentified vegetables and/or meat. Tastes like cardboard.
  • White powders that are either flour, salt, sugar, or powdered milk. It's not unusual for them to be mislabeled or missorted.

  • Games
  • Deck of cards.
  • Board games with unintelligible or missing instructions.
  • Ping pong paddles with a single ball.
  • Ball-in-Cup game/Kendama.
  • Those puzzle toys with no picture of what it's supposed to look like.
  • Scrabble but in an alien alphabet.

  • Casual Clothes

    Note: All clothing comes in either solid primary colors or monochrome. All seem to be made out of some sort of synthetic cotton fiber. Low quality.
  • T-shirts.
  • Sweatpants.
  • Cloth shorts.
  • Jeans.
  • Wind Breakers.

  • Adult Items
    Note: Machine only accepts credits, not any hard currency. Characters under 15 will be denied purchase. If your character is over 15 but you don’t want them to have access- their card may be denied for any reason such as a glitch or a violation of some interplanetary law no one mentioned.
  • Alcohol that tastes akin to kerosene.
  • Low quality cigarettes.
  • Crappy street drugs.
  • Condoms for various genders and species.

  • Other People
    More often than not, way-stations are devoid of other people from outside the fleet. However sometimes, especially if a ship is not too far from a populated system, they may come across other travelers that stopped at a way-station. These travelers tend to be made up of humans and other alien species. Most are just passing through and minding their own business, but sometimes there are shadier people that will either attempt to kidnap, mug, or scam fleet passengers. When questioned about Atroma or the Drift Fleet, none of them will know anything about it. Explaining that you've been kidnapped and forced to be in a reality tv show might earn you some strange looks, however. Players are free to use these NPCS at will.

    None of the people encountered on the way-stations have anything to do with the actual running of the stations. They are all visitors, or in a few way-stations near systems, merchants and/or con-artists that just happen to set up shop there. Absolutely everything on the standard stations are automated, and protected under possibly the same mysterious thing that keeps the fleet safe from being destroyed or tampered with. Attempting to locate a person that is part of running the station will yield no success.

    Communication & the Network
    Way-stations have network screens and bank panels all over. These work as public access terminals, and can be used to connect to the fleet's network or a passenger's bank account if there's a ship or shuttle from the fleet docked. From there, passengers can broadcast to the network or check their accounts like they could on their ships network terminals.

    However, much like public WiFi in our world, public access terminals aren't completely safe. Using a bank panel to check your account on a station with shadier visitors may cause your bank account to get hacked and depleted by an alien (or another fleetmate). Communicating on the network without any sort of encryption may earn you eavesdroppers. Whether or not this happens to your character is entirely up to you.

    Simultaneously, Engineer or Communication augments with few moral scruples may also hack these terminals for their own benefit. You may be able to make a living off stealing money from other ships. Just be careful not to get caught, or you might end up getting chased by a mob of angry aliens.

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